A Trio of Mystery Authors Thrills Readers with Halloween Party Murder

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New York Times best-selling mystery author Leslie Meier reunites with Barbara Ross and Lee Hollis to keep the spooky spirit alive in a new holiday story collection starring their favorite sleuths, set in coastal Maine. Leslie Meier, author of the Lucy Stone Mystery series; Leslie Hollis, author of the Hayley Powell Mystery series; and Barbara Ross, author of the Maine Clambake Mysteries have penned three separate Halloween party-themed stories. Small town traditions are celebrated throughout Maine during the holiday season, but when it comes to Halloween, some people are more than willing to reap a harvest of murder.

Vee’s Gluten-free Pumpkin Cookies
Makes approximately 40 cookies

In the story, Vee Snugg makes her traditional pumpkin cookies gluten-free in an attempt to entice Sergeant Tom Flynn. In reality, you can make them either way. Vee’s recipe is a twist on one that used to appear on the Libby pumpkin can. Lots of people make versions of these cookies, but I think Vee’s are particularly delicious.
  • 3½ cups gluten-free all-purpose baking flour*
  • 2⅓ cups gluten-free old-fashioned oats
  • 2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
  • 1¾ teaspoons baking soda
  • 1½ teaspoons fine sea salt
  • 1¾ cups unsalted butter, softened
  • 1¾ cups granulated sugar
  • 1¾ cups packed brown sugar
  • 1 (15-ounce) can pumpkin purée
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1¾ teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1¾ cups chopped walnuts
  • 1¾ cups chocolate chips
  • Decorator icing (optional)
  1. Preheat oven to 350°. Line several rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, oats, pumpkin pie spice, baking soda, and salt.
  3. In a large bowl, beat together butter and sugars with a mixer at medium speed until fluffy. Beat in pumpkin, eggs, and vanilla extract until well mixed. With mixer at low speed, gradually add flour mixture, beating just until combined. Stir in nuts and chocolate chips.
  4. Using a ¼-cup levered scoop, drop dough 2 inches apart onto prepared baking sheets. (If desired, spread dough portions into ¼-inch-thick pumpkin shapes.)
  5. Bake until cookies are firm and golden brown, 14 to 16 minutes. Let cool on baking sheets for 2 minutes and then remove to wire racks.
  6. If desired, decorate with icing when cooled. (Vee uses orange icing to outline the pumpkin ribs and green icing for the stem and leaves.)


Get Your Copy Halloween Party Murder by Leslie Meier and Barbara Ross Here! 


LESLIE MEIER is the acclaimed author of over twenty Lucy Stone mysteries and has also written for Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine. Readers can visit her website at www.lesliemeier.com. LEE HOLLIS is the pen name for Rick Copp, a veteran Hollywood screenwriter who has written for numerous television series, and his sister Holly Simasonan award-winning food and cocktails columnist. Visit them at www.leehollismysteries.com. BARBARA ROSS’s Maine Clambake Mysteries have been nominated for multiple Agatha Awards for Best Contemporary Novel and have won the Maine Literary Award for Crime Fiction. Visit her at www.barbararossauthor.com.


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